Experiencing the death of a loved one is one of the most painful things life brings.
Everyone Mourns Differently
Everyone reacts differently to the death of a loved one; your instinct may be to reach out and connect, and the instinct of your friend or relative may be to retreat, distract themselves with work or hobbies, or shut down.
Your relationship with the person you lost was a unique one, so naturally your grieving process will also be unique and personal. The close friends and family that you would expect to be there for you in one of the most challenging times of your life may not be present in the way you’d hoped or anticipated. Even your partner may not provide the comfort you’d expect.
Relationships Impacted by Grief Will Change
While it’s disappointing and hurtful to experience what feels like a breakdown in your relationships right when you need them the most, your friends, family and partner may also be affected by grief. They may also be mourning.
Try not to rely solely on your partner for comfort. It’s healthier for both of you and it can ease the stress on your relationship if you have other people to turn to for help.
The impact of grief is an incredible strain on existing relationships because who you are as a person is temporarily – and sometimes permanently – altered as you struggle to cope with the loss and find a way to move forward. Your close friends and loved ones may have difficulty coping with how you’re mourning, causing them to pull away temporarily. They may also be used to seeing you as a source of strength so seeing you in this vulnerable state (in addition to possibly dealing with their own grief) may be difficult for them bear.
Seek Out New Sources of Support
Maintaining relationships takes effort, and they’re vulnerable to the difficulties we face as we move through life. You may need to turn to more distant family members, other friends or acquaintances, make new connections through bereavement groups or seek professional help from a therapist to find solace and understanding.
Although bereavement may change relationships, expect some semblance of normalcy to return as time passes. By forgiving friends or loved ones who weren’t there for you as you dealt with your grief, you can re-establish lost connections.
If you’re having difficulty with your relationships as you grieve and need some understanding and guidance, give me a call and we can set up an appointment to talk.